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Scene changes to another apartment in the palace.
Enter Megra and Pharamond.
Meg. What then am I ? a poor neglected ftale?
Have I then been an idle toying the,
To fool away an hour or two withal,
And then thrown by for ever?
Pba. Nay, have patience!
Megra. Patience ! I shall go mad! why, I shall be
A mark for all the pages of the court
To spend their wit upon!
Pha. It Tall not be.
She, whose difhonour is not known abroad,
Is not at all dilhonour'd.
Megra, Not dishonourd !
Have we then been so chary of our fame,
So cautious, think you, in our course of love
No blot of calumny has falln upon it? Say,
What charm has veild suspicion's hundred eyes,
And who shall stop the cruel hand of scorn?
Pha. Cease your complaints, reproachful and
What could I do? Obedience to my father,
My country's good, my plighted faith, my fame,
Each circumstance of state and duty, alk'd
The tender of my hand to Arethusa.
Megra. Talk not of Arethusa ! She, I know, Would fain get rid of her most precious bargain. She is for softer dalliance; she has got A cherub, a young Hylas, an Adonis !
Pha. What mean you?
Megra. She, good faith, has her Bellario! A boy--about eighteen a pretty boy! Why, this is he that must when you are wed Sit by your pillow, like a young Apollo, Sing, play upon the lute, with hand and voice Binding your thoughts in fleep: She does provide
For you and for herself.
Pha. Injurious Megra !
Oh, add not shame to shame! to rob a lady
Of her good name thus, is an heinous fin,
Not to be pardon’d; yet, though false as hell,
"Twill never be redeem'd if it be fown
Amongst the people, fruitful to increase
All evil they shall hear.
Megra. It shall be known.
Nay, more, by heav'n 'tis true! a thousand things
Speak it, beyond all contradiction, true:
Observe how brave she keeps him; how he stands
For ever at her beck! There's not an hour,
Sacred howe'er to female privacy,
But he's admitted ; and in open court
Their tell-tale eyes hold foft discourse together.
Why, why is all this? Think you fhe's content
To look upon him ?
Pha. Make it but appear
That she has play'd the wanton with this stripling,
All Spain as well Sicily shall know
Her foul dishonour. I'll difgrace her first,
Then leave her to her shame.
Megra. You are resolv'd ?
Pha. Most constantly.
Megra. The rest remains with me :
I will produce such proofs, that the shall know
I did not leave our country, and degrade
Our Spanish honour and nobility,
To ftand a mean attendant in her chamber,
With hood-wink'd eyes, and finger on my lips.
What I have seen, I'll speak ; what known, proclaim:
Her story shall be general as the wind,
And fly as far.-I will about it straight.
Expect news from me, Pharamond. Farewell.
[Exit. Pharamond alone. True or not true, one way I like this well, For I suspect the princess loves me not. If Megra's charge prove malice, her own ruin
Must follow, and I'm quit of her for ever:
But if she makes suspicions.truths, or if,
Which were as deep confusion, Arethufa
Disdain our proffer'd union, and Philaster
Stand foremost in her heart, let Megra's proofs
Wear but the semblance and the garb of truth,
They shall afford me measure of revenge.
I will look on with an indifferent
eye, Prepar'd for either fortune; or to wed If she prove faithful, or repulse her sham’d. [Exit.
Scene, the Presence Chamber.
Enter Dion, Cleremont, Thrafiline, Megra, and
Dion. Come, ladies, shall we talk a round?
Gal.' 'Tis late.
Megra. 'Tis all
My eyes will do to lead me to my bed.
Thra. The prince!
Pha. Not a-bed, ladies ? You're good fitters-up. What think you of a pleasant dream, to last 'Till morning?
Enter Arethusa and Bellario. Are. 'Tis well, my lord, you're courting of ladies. Is't not late, gentlemen ?
Clere. Yes, madam.
Are. Wait you there. [Exit Arethufa.
Megra. She's jealous, as I live. Look you, my
The princess has a boy!
Pha. His form is angel-like!
Dion. Serves he the princess ?
Dion. 'Tis a sweet boy!
Phai Ladies all, good rest: I mean to kill a buck To-morrow morning, ere you've done your dreams.
[Exit Pharamond. Megra. All happiness attend your grace! gentle
men, good rest. Gal. All, good night.
[Exeunt Gal. and Megra. Dion. May your dreams be true to you! What shall we do, gallants ? 'Tis late. The king Is up still. See, he comes, and Arethufa With him.
Enter King, Arethufa and guard. King. Look your intelligence be true.
Are. Upon my life, it is: And I do hope, Your highness will not tie me to a man, That in the heat of wooing throws me off, And takes another.